Savannah Music Festival celebrates 30th festival season with over 80 performances spanning Americana, jazz, classical, and world music 2019 festival includes artists from 19 countries and five continents 33 SMF debuts including Pat Metheny, Jeff Tweedy, I’m With Her, Juho Pohjonen, Daymé Arocena, Andersson Dance and Scottish Ensemble. From March 28 through April 13, 2019, the Savannah Music Festival (SMF) celebrates its landmark 30th season with a stellar lineup of concerts, recitals, dance parties and events, and family-friendly performances in nine venues across Savannah’s Historic District. From its origins as Savannah On Stage, SMF has grown to become one of the nation’s leading multi-disciplinary musical arts events, distinguished by its commitment to innovative programming and known for attracting topflight artists and audiences from across the country and overseas.
The Savannah Music Festival opens this weekend with Fatoumata Diawara / Noura Mint Seymali. Hailed as one of the most vital artists in modern African music, Fatoumata Diawara returns to Savannah after her SMF debut on a co-bill with Bombino in 2014.
Born to Malian parents on the Ivory Coast in 1982, Diawara’s career began at the age of 19 with the French street theater company Royal de Luxe, which led to her backing American jazz singer Dee Dee Bridgewater and Malian superstar Oumou Sangaré. She has since recorded with Bobby Womack and Herbie Hancock, played Glastonbury and other major festivals and toured with Cuban pianist Roberto Fonseca. A modern-day storyteller, she has most recently shared the stage with David Crosby and Snarky Puppy in an evening of topical protest songs at Carnegie Hall, providing “the night’s most striking moments,” according to Rolling Stone.
Winner of the 2014 AFRIMA (All Africa Music Awards) for “Best Female Artist in North Africa,” Noura Mint Seymali is Mauritania’s defining artist on the international stage. Drawing deep on the timeless repertoire of the Moorish griot, a hereditary class of musical poet/historians, her band conjures “a full blown sandstorm of hypnotic grooves, melding traditional Mauritanian instruments, like the ardine (harp) and tidinite (lute), within an electrified psychedelic rock band” (The Quietus). Expanding a sound born of Arabian and Sub-Saharan roots, Noura Mint Seymali bends the arc of Moorish musical tradition.
Visit savannahmusicfestival.org for complete lineup and ticket information.